The scrap metal recycling industry is a crucial part of the economy and the environment in today’s day and age. Studies show that around 33% of the crude steel produced in the world in 2019 was made out of recycled metals. In the United States alone, around 69% of crude steel produced was made out of recycled scrap. This is a good start, but considering the ease of reprocessing recycled metals and the positive effects on our environment, the more scrap metal we can recycle, the better. Consider this: recycling one single aluminum can will save enough energy to power a lightbulb for around 4 hour, so imagine how much energy is saved when recycling an appliance or vehicle. With these economical and environmental benefits in mind, one question remains: exactly how is scrap metal recycled?
Scrap Metal Collection
This is the part where you come in. The scrap metal recycling industry relies on people and businesses to supply us with the junk metals so we can recycle them. For this reason, you’ll be paid for any metal you bring to be recycled. Different metals sell for different prices, depending on their value and abundance. Some things that you can recycle after they have broken or been replaced include appliances, vehicles, filing cabinets, and all other kinds of metal equipment that may be sitting idly in your basement or garage.
The next step in the scrap metal recycling process is sorting the scrap into types of metals. This process is often automated using magnets and sensors to put each type of metal into their correct pile. This step is essential so that when the recycling process is done, you know exactly which type of metal you’re reusing.
Next the metals, now sorted into the groups where they belong, are shredded. Shredding the metals allows them to be melted down more quickly and efficiently, saving time and energy.
Metals are then melted down using a furnace specific to that type of metal. While the melting process does use a lot of energy, it’s much less than it takes to produce brand new metals.
After the metals are melted down and checked for purity, they are cooled down and solidified. At this stage the metals are shaped into bars or rods, where they can be easily manipulated into their final forms by a manufacturer.
In the final step of the scrap metal recycling process, the newly recycled metals will be shipped to factories and manufacturing facilities where they can be transformed into their final product. When these products come to the end of their lifespan, they can be recycled again and the process will start over.
Contact Second Street Iron & Metal
If you have any more questions about the scrap metal recycling process or are looking to recycle junk vehicles, appliances, or equipment, contact Second Street Iron & Metal! Located in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area, we are here for all our communities' scrap metal recycling needs. Give us a call at (617) 387-1188 or fill out the contact form on our website to learn more!